X Bracing

Pete Howlett

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Anyone had experience of using x bracing for tenor ukes. I am trying to build a cylinder front and can only think that an X brace will hold the shape
 

Red Cliff

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Or maybe a ladder brace or something with a bridge bar like you would see on a voucher guitar?
 

sequoia

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My former neighbor luthier Dave Sigman used to build with exquisite X-bracing and his ukes sounded fine. As a matter of fact they sounded like... ukuleles!

body.jpg

Dave used to post here but alas I think Dave retired and moved on. Have not heard from him in awhile.
 

Beau Hannam Ukuleles

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The lower legs of the X brace land similarly to the outer legs of 3 fan bracing- that is- they correspond to the bridge wings positions.

I've only ever done 2 X braces- it could also be called a very wide lattice bracing- all the braces were tiny and the 3 (i think?) ukes i've done it on sounds great and held the top shape.

You could either add a usual middle "fan" brace along the center line.
or
add the diagonal tone brace as seen in the Dave Sigman pic above.

So- three options, all which work equally well!- (Although the double x brace i've done is exactly twice as much work.)
 

Kekani

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I use an X brace for my Tiples. Yup, 10 steel strings. If I used it on a 4 string, I’d scallop the crap out of it, like Dave did.
 

Pete Howlett

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Thank you fellow builders. Pretty much confirmed my thoughts. I'll use my full width shaped bridge patch system with a single scalloped x brace. Cylinder top and back - took 3 hrs of CNC to machine 'cylinder go-bar deck/sanding tunnel'. 2500mm front radius and 1800 back radius. . Let's see how this goes this week. Will keep you informed.
 
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Pegasus Guitars

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Pete,
I only build with an X on tenors. Built more than a few. I'd never go back to wavy top fan braced tenors. I started way back with cylinders, but switched to my current spheres sometime ago. Easier for me to get the rise on the fretboards. You won't have any trouble with the X. My take on building is once a builder finds their way around building, pretty much anything they do will end up working, short of some disastrous measurement screw up( And boy have I done those!). Otherwise the intuition computer kicks in and generally takes you safely home! Have fun.-Bob
 

Pete Howlett

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I am so touched that my peers Beau, Aaron and Bob chipped in, especially my longtime friend and mentor Bob. I'm glad we all met on my tour in 2016. That isn't to diminish the contribution of others. All of you have a huge virtual hug from me for taking the time to be the technicians behind this old dog's new trick. Cylinder construction is just an experiment... not quite sure what to expect but I am doing it to keep my interest going with standard acoustic instruments having found my metier in The Revelator.

4KOSRT1.jpg
 

tparse

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Bob...
I have never done an X brace on the top but I have done two V braced tops. It is to early to say if they will be wavy also. I do fan braced ... I will try an X brace soon... I do not see a downside to it. All of my ukes end up with a wavy top around the braces. Some is good... a-lot not so much...I think that if the top is just like it was when you finished it.... the top was to thick. But you can get crazy and make it to thin... but some is good I think. I play my ukes and listen to them...they will tell you.
 

Brett S.

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IMG_20191016_160031145.jpg

This is what one looked like before being glued to the body. This one is a concert, with white cedar top and oak back/sides/neck. I've done four concerts with an X brace, but only 2 are yet complete. This is my loudest uke, it has a lot of punch.

This is another. No tenors with an X yet.

IMG_20200121_141243825.jpg
 

Pete Howlett

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Nice clean building Brett. No nonsense bracing and linings. I like the look.
 

Michael N.

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What is a cylinder front?

Don't know but I assume it's an arch based on the section of a cylinder, bent rather than carved? more severe than a domed top. I think Nyckelharpas use something very much like that, so if true it's a pretty old idea.